I know that there are many of you out there that are just loving this heat and humidity. I just love the fact that the central air works! I’m so ready for fall! Here’s a comparison of the first 16 days of July 2012 to the first 16 days of July 2013.
Notice that it was hotter and drier last year even though we only had rain twice this July in the first 16 days of the month! It’s so dry and I don’t want to have to keep watering the new trees we planted and the garden. Other than the heat, the humidity and the dog days of summer, here are my other random thoughts this Friday.
THERE’S STILL SO MUCH HATE IN THIS COUNTRY
Tensions are still running high across the United States following last Saturday night’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Race is definitely playing a role in how people are reacting to the verdict. But, believe it or not, the hate group, the American Family Association (AFA) is using this trial and the verdict to attack gay people!
Conservative radio host Bryan Fischer, who’s also a high-ranking official with the AFA, is one of those hateful people. Here are some of the tweets he sent out defending Zimmerman and attacking others.
TALK ABOUT HATE AND IGNORANCE
Latin singer (and Jennifer Lopez’s ex-husband) Marc Anthony sang “God Bless America” Tuesday night in the seventh inning of the MLB All-Star Game in New York City. And, this did not go over well with some fans of America’s favorite pastime. Check out some of these ignorant tweets (and these were some of the more innocent ones that didn’t involve really bad racial overtones)!
For the record, Anthony was born in New York City in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood. While he may be of Puerto Rican descent, he is an American!
We have come so far in this country, yet we still have a long way to go. We must never give up hope!
RUSSIA, MOVE OUT OF THE DARK AGES
While I love vodka, I have never had any desire to visit Russia. And, now, with a new law in place, I definitely won’t be going there and I wouldn’t be welcomed.
The new law that was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and went into effect June 30th allows the government to arrest or detain gay or “pro-gay” foreigners for up to two weeks before expelling them from the country. While the “pro-gay” language is vague, Travel + Escape, a Canadian website, says it could be “gay-affirmative” speech, displaying a rainbow flag and same-sex partners holding hands.
Fines could range from $156 to $6,250 in U.S. dollars for what “The Voice of Russia” calls “any display of affection between same-sex couples could cause a ‘distorted understanding’ that gay relations and heterosexual relations are socially equivalent, and risk spreading Western liberalism”.
But, Putin says the law is not anti-gay and that others should mind their own business, “We are talking about protecting children from the respective information. We ask that (other countries) do not interfere in our regulation.”
I guess we should still call Russia the U.S.S.R. (or the Soviet Union) since it’s still living in the dark ages!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Last fall, I visited Houston, Texas, with Ray, twenty years after my first visit. The first time was with one of my best friends, Dennis.
Interestingly enough, the first time I visited Cancun, Mexico, in 1993, it was also with my friend Dennis. He got us round trip airline tickets from Nashville, Tennessee, and the Cancun trip for only $299! Now, twenty years later, Ray and I have passports and we’re heading to Cancun in about a month.
Here are a couple of pictures that I took from that 1993 trip. I hope now that we’ve planned this beach vacation, I’ll find the motivation I need to lose ten pounds in four weeks!
KELLY CLARKSON GOT ME EXCITED
All it took was one tweet! And, no it wasn’t a backstage shot of a shirtless Adam Levine since her tour with Maroon 5 doesn’t start until August 1st!
Although you know as much as I do from this tweet and picture, it would appear that Kelly is recording new music with Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood. Since ABC cancelled “Malibu Country” and her last radio single was in late 2011 (“Somebody’s Chelsea”), we haven’t heard much of “singer” Reba.
I don’t care if this is for a new album for Kelly or Trisha, I’m just excited that there will be new Reba music. One could only hope that Reba is recording an album for early 2014!
Reba and Kelly first worked together on Reba’s “Duets” album that debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart (her only #1 “pop” album) in the fall of 2007, selling more than 300,000 copies in the first week!
The lead single from that album, “Because of You” reached #2 on the country charts in August 2007. Two years earlier, Kelly took the song to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming her sixth Top Ten hit on that chart.
Come on Reba. Let’s make a return to country radio in 2014!
ASSOCIATE OF THE MONTH — REALLY?
Through the wonders of Facebook, people you haven’t talked to in 20 or 30 years can touch base with you. And, you can find out that you were named “Associate of the Month” for your “excellent coverage” of a news story!
This was at WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio. While I don’t remember this achievement, I do remember the story. And, I have to admit that the picture of me is a bit of a scary flashback, but the little blurb did bring a smile to my face since it was May 2001 and Miss ABBA, my beautiful golden was turning one year old!
So, here’s a bonus picture of Miss ABBA from the summer of 2001.
GIVING JOURNALISTS A BAD NAME
Asiana Airlines accepted an apology and is dropping its lawsuit against San Fransisco television station KTVU after the station announced wrong, offensive names for the pilots involved in that airline’s deadly plane crash July 6th that killed three people.
The station made a call to the National Transportation Safety Board and apparently got confirmation of the names of the pilots from an intern.
But, seriously, what kind of idiots (and it wasn’t just the news anchor) didn’t catch that these names sounded out as “Captain Something Wrong”, “We Too Low”, and “Holy F**k”.
Just where did the station get these names in the first place?
How fitting is it that Don Henley of The Eagles scored his first solo hit with the anti-news business song, “Dirty Laundry” (#3, 1982). It includes the lines, “We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five/She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye/It’s interesting when people die/Give us dirty laundry”.
Rest assured that not all journalists are irresponsible with information and your trust!
IOWA SINGER IS READY FOR THE BIG TIME
Earlier in the week, I blogged about Eli Lieb, a southeastern Iowa musician that has been working in New York City to make a name for himself in the music business. He now lives in Los Angeles and is on the verge of making it big with his latest song, “Young Love”.
Since its release about a week ago, the video has already been viewed almost a quarter of a million times on YouTube! If you missed it, here’s the video.
And, here’s the link to Tuesday’s blog so you can read more about Eli: https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/finding-young-love-a-world-away-from-iowa/
FREDDIE MERCURY LIVES!
While it was announced back in late 2010 by Queen guitarist Brian May, it now looks like we’ll finally be seeing a movie based on the group’s bisexual lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died in late 1991 from an AIDS-related illness, at the age of 45.
Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsasa, in Zanzibar, in East Africa. While he was flamboyant on stage, he was personally very shy. The singer, who dated men and women, became the first major rock star to die of AIDS. Interestingly enough, it’s reported that he always denied that he was HIV-positive or had AIDS and it was only announced publicly one day before he died in London on November 24, 1991.
“Borat” and “Les Miserables” actor Sacha Baron Cohen will play Mercury and he’s already taking singing lessons. IMDb is reporting that the film will be “a chronicle of the years leading up to Queen’s appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.” It’s also rumored that Tom Hooper, who also directed “Les Miserables” and “The King’s Speech” will be behind the camera.
This sounds like an exciting movie and it’s expected in 2014.
PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK
The English rock band Queen formed in 1970. While the band did not achieve instant success, it has now sold an estimated 150 million to 300 million albums world-wide since its debut album, “Queen”, came out in the summer of 1973.
“Killer Queen” was the band’s first American hit in 1974 peaking at #12.
Queen would go on to chart 13 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Of those, five would reach the Top Ten and two would top the chart: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites The Dust” (1980). “Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days of Our Lives” would go all the way to #2 in 1991.
My selection today was released in late October 1979, but it reached #1 on the Hot 100 in late February 1980, so it qualifies as one of my “80’s Friday Flashback” songs.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!
And, since we’re on the subject of Queen, let’s curtsy to Queen Elizabeth II!
Earlier this week, the Queen gave her blessing on marriage equality after Parliament passed its third reading. Back in May, the House of Commons passed the bill by a vote of 366 to 161. Same-sex marriages will begin in the United Kingdom next year!
Prime Minister David Cameron has pushed for marriage equality since 2011 when he told his own Conservative Party, “Yes, it’s about equality. But it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society’s stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative, I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”
Congratulations, Great Britain!
“ENDER’S GAME” CONTROVERSY
“Ender’s Game” is a science fiction action movie coming out November 1, 2013, starring Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”), Academy Award nominees Harrison Ford (“Witness”), Viola Davis (“Doubt” and “The Help”), Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”), and Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”), along with Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”).
It’s based on the popular 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card. However, with just a little over three months before the $110 million movie’s premiere, it’s marred in a publicity nightmare and the LGBT group, Geeks OUT! is even proposing a boycott of the movie because of comments made by the book’s author.
Card is on the board of directors at the National Organization for Marriage, a group that is very aggressive and mean in its views against same-sex marriage. In 2009, Card wrote in “Mormon Times” that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”
And, just last year, while supporting North Carolina’s Amendment One, he called same-sex attraction, “reproductive dysfunction” and added that “normalizing a dysfunction will only make ours into a society that corrodes any loyalty to it, as parents see that our laws and institutions now work against the reproductive success (not to mention happiness) of the next generation.”
Now, the director of the movie, some of its stars, and Lionsgate Entertainment are distancing themselves from Card. Lionsgate issued this in a statement, “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community […] we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage”.
Card recently told “Entertainment Weekly” (“EW”) that his anti-marriage views are now “moot” because of the Supreme Court’s late June decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.
And, even with all of his negative views toward same-sex couples wanting the right to marry, it sounds like Card is playing the victim telling “EW”, “Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.”
Say what???? Let me get this straight. Now, Card wants the LGBT community and its supporters to be tolerant and open-minded and come out to see “Ender’s Game” — just to line his pockets with more money. That, Mr. Card, sounds more like a joker than an ace!
So, what are your thoughts on this or anything else I talked about today? I welcome your opinions whether we agree or disagree. Have yourself a great weekend and, as always, thank you for checking out my blog.